The agricultural sector between deteriorating reality and ambition

I'm an image! 2023 / 28 / Jul

Life can only be secured by securing food, and securing food depends on the produce of agriculture and its development in both its plant and animal parts. Thanks to research and science, agriculture has developed amazingly, especially mechanization and the departure from traditional agriculture. There are basic factors on which agriculture is based, which are (man, land, water, and capital).

These factors are completely integrated in Mesopotamia, but the management of this file has deteriorated, regressed, and politics has tampered with it in an alarming way. To shed light on the weaknesses and untie the bottlenecks in this sector, we start with the priorities through the main axes below:

First: Plant production, which includes industrial and fodder crops, horticulture, vegetable crops, and protected agriculture:

This important aspect has witnessed a significant decline, the first of which is confusion in the provision of certified seeds of higher ranks and of varieties that bear the country’s conditions of drought and salinity. In importing seeds of unknown origin by traders who only care about their benefits, as is happening now, and the Agricultural Research Department must be supported to produce higher grades and clarify their specifications for farmers. Currently, the higher grades, such as the base grade and the registered one, are only sufficient for 10 or 15% of the need, so chaos prevails in 80% of the needs The farmer depends on himself or flounders and falls prey to the merchants to buy at several times the price, which is not guaranteed

Where its genetic characteristics deteriorate after one or two generations. As for vegetable seeds, more dependence is on the production of French, Dutch and Lebanese companies, which cost billions. It is an important sector, and I will devote a special talk to palm trees, because in my opinion, it is a huge wealth equal to oil.

Second: Animal production, which includes raising livestock, poultry, fisheries, and providing fodder and veterinary health:

Where this axis witnessed a frightening and dangerous decline, especially the cattle stations, where the state established dozens of stations in the seventies in a modern style that simulates the stations in developed countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, France and America. An eyewitness witnessed the Al-Nasr cow station in Al-Khajiyya, the family of Essaouira, in the mid-nineties, it produced about 50 thousand liters of milk per day, and the number of cows reached (7000) thousand cows, and now it has become ruins and there is not a single cow in it, and the lands attached to it have turned into cultivation of other crops, and this case applies On the rest of the livestock sectors, such as sheep, buffaloes, and camels, which depend on the private sector only and are now suffering from the chaos of providing subsidized fodder that must be sponsored by the state, even by 50%. Veterinary services have also witnessed a decline and failure, as the private sector represents the support in stopping communicable diseases and their treatments. And massacres are witnessing a huge and even shameful decline in the twenty-first century, and the methods of slaughter are still on the streets.

Third: agricultural extension, training, scientific research and its applications:

Although in most countries of the world the role of the state is indicative and research, but the state here in the seventies seized all the joints of agricultural management and failed, so it sold all government projects to the private sector and its role became indicative and regulatory. Recurring seminars on concepts and content in a tedious way. The matter requires allocating enough space in each governorate to be a scientific and practical guiding model in the breeding of animals, crops, vegetables, horticulture and poultry, with an exemplary scientific management that the farmer can emulate, and the researchers and university professors in charge of it are a substitute for dilapidated guiding farms, the farmer’s farm It is much better than it, just as it is necessary to introduce the farmer in continuous extension courses to provide him with the latest research and applications of agricultural sciences, just as the theses and dissertations of postgraduate studies in universities are often useless, and sometimes absurd, as they do not address a problem or produce varieties that are resistant to salinity or thirst Or the weather, in addition to largely neglecting cooperative societies of great importance, and they should be revived and made specialized in poultry, fish, seeds, or protected agriculture.

Fourth: Irrigation, reclamation, maintenance and operation, dams and supplementary irrigation:

The basis of agriculture is water, and Iraq is a country of Mesopotamia, but mismanagement has caused a clear, large, and influential imbalance in agriculture in general. The countries of the world in general have left the traditional irrigation method, and have adopted sprinkler and drip irrigation, which provides 60% of the water, and this means that the water scarcity in Iraq is meaningless. It has because what is available is sufficient, especially the orchards, and the adoption of these irrigation methods must be mandatory, and the countries provide the requirements for the farmer with subsidies and comfortable installments, and the expansion of reclamation projects must be completely stopped, and the maintenance of existing projects should be directed from the field wastewater to the main channels, and not to waste a single drop of water and pay attention to protected agriculture And to prevent the cultivation of crops that have a great need for water, such as rice, and pay attention to the maintenance and operation of dams, and that water releases should not be subject to special jurisprudence, but rather the necessity of subjecting them to accurate data that takes place according to determining the absolute quantities, and wastewater should be used after treatment to irrigate the lands, and the water should be subject Underground water is subject to state control and not to allow its indiscriminate exploitation. The state should conclude treaties with upstream countries about sharing the damage when water is scarce and exploiting the idea of common commercial interests.

Fifth: Legislations and instructions related to the file of agricultural lands:

The state still adopts the previous laws of leasing, ownership, inheritance and distributions, while it is required to reconsider them according to developments, such as the inheritance system and the terms of the contract, and it requires encouraging investment in large areas, not fragmenting property and removing commons, which are laws that must be reviewed according to the requirements of the times and charging the owners of private property with the costs of reclamation in whole or in part Activating the principle of the land for those who cultivate it, encouraging the cultivation of (5%) of the land in gardening and owning it for its owner, activating the production and product protection law, encouraging those wishing to export with easy laws, and completely removing red tape from agricultural transactions.

Sixth: Services and Mechanization:

One of the first duties of the state is to provide the farmer with seeds, fertilizers, agricultural equipment and machinery, such as tractors, harvesters, and drilling equipment, at subsidized prices and from solid origins, supported by convenient installments, and among the services is general pest control.

Free of charge, such as dubas palm and barn insect, or providing pesticides, the most important of which are bush pesticides, and not limiting the provision of supplies to the Agricultural Equipment Company, but rather opening horizons for competitors to import for several companies, and for the state to seriously consider putting pressure on the Ministry of Industry to produce fertilizers in quantities that meet the need and export the surplus or link these factories to the Ministry of Agriculture.

General matters:

Finding a clear mechanism for marketing strategic crops and supporting outputs, not supporting wasteful inputs.

Provide sufficient silos for storing seeds.

Formation of an Agricultural Council of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of the Interior whose decisions are binding on implementation.

Relying on maneuvering and transporting equipment between the governorates, such as harvesters, which are needed during the season at different times.